As a doctoral student in the lab of David H. Wise in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, studying the structure of soil arthropod communities in urbanized landscapes is my passion! My research focuses specifically on soil mite communities and their habitats, and the food web dynamics that shape these communtites. For the past three years, I have been with collaborators in environmental planning, sociology, and scientific philosophy to develop ways of integrating disciplinary thought into a trans-disciplinary perspective of management ecology through the NSF-funded RESTORE project.
In my work at The Ohio State University, I researched the host specificity of the mite associates of introduced species of millipedes in the family Julidae in the Atlantic region of the U.S. and Europe. The primary goal was to discover the locality of origin of these invasive species of millipedes through analysis of mite associates and molecular markers. In my undergraduate research, I studied the differences in millipede community structures in an area of southern Ohio where an underground oil pipeline was installed.
In addition to my personal research, I am a fellow in interdisciplinary research in the Landscape, Ecology, and Anthropogenic Processes (LEAP) Integrative Graduate Education Research Traineeship (IGERT) program funded by the NSF. I am also part-time faculty in the Department of Liberal Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where I developed and am teaching the course The Dirt on Soil Science in Spring and Summer terms.
Monica A. Farfan
Ecology and Evolution Group
Department of Biological Sciences (MC 066)
University of Illinois at Chicago
845 W. Taylor St.
Chicago, IL 60607
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